North Carolina man sentenced to 20 years in prison for possessing child pornography
Published 7:02 am Thursday, November 10, 2022
Jose Lopez, 20, of Wilson, was sentenced Tuesday, November 1, 2022 to 240 months in prison for possession of child pornography, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Lopez pleaded guilty to the charge on October 25, 2021.
According to court documents and other information presented in court, from February through August of 2021, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received eight reports of illegal activity from Snapchat, Discord and Twitter for an IP address out of Wilson. Surveillance and database inquiries identified the resident as Lopez, according to the release.
“Law enforcement executed a search warrant at the house in Wilson on October 25, 2021, and seized multiple electronic devices, including phones and laptops,” stated the release. “A forensic examination of the devices uncovered over 700 videos and 1,500 images depicting children engaged in sexual acts or displaying their genitals. Some depicted infants and toddlers. The examination also uncovered online chats in which Lopez discussed a desire to have sex with children and brags about raping three minors, including a nine-year-old girl.”
Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Department of Homeland Security investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted.
“This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level,” stated the release. “For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.”